Sad Sable German Shepherd sulking

Emotionally Attached - A Dogg Blog

I thought my dog was ill. Like, I’d love to say I’m not one of those helicopter dog moms, but let’s be honest, I am. One hundred percent, I am.

Our youngest German Shepherd is just over two years old, and she is FULL of energy. I’m talking crazy with a capital “C.” She’s your typical “working breed” that needs a job to release her energy, and this morning she was acting lethargic. She’s not even bossing our other German Shepherd around, and that’s her absolute most favorite pastime. Much to her brother’s dismay…

It started the night before when she got up and went to bed. Now, I realize there are plenty of dogs that let their humans know when it’s bedtime, but not this one. She must be at the center of all things happening. Ever heard the term “Velcro dog?” It refers to a dog that never leaves your side or “sticks” with you if you will. I’m convinced that if you look up that term in the Urban Dictionary, her picture is there. Needless to say, this was an odd behavior and both my husband and I took note. The next morning, we noticed her lethargic behavior. She ate breakfast and was alert but refused to do anything else. Of course, I immediately thought I need to take her to the vet, something is not right. The only other time I had seen her like this was right after we adopted her, and she unfortunately had some tummy issues that had to be taken care of. I won’t go into more detail here for your stomach’s sake.

My second thought was, “No, don’t freak out. Her only symptom is being lethargic. Nothing is coming out of either end…and she ate breakfast just fine.” So, we agreed to keep an eye on her and forgo the trip to the groomer we had planned for later that morning. If I thought she understood us, I’d be tempted to say she was acting that way to get out of the much-dreaded nail trim.

The day before I had brought in all the dog’s various balls and toys inside from the yard and soaked them several times in dawn and then vinegar to kill any bacteria. I don’t like to let the toys sit outside especially in the rain because it grosses me out to think about the ick growing on them. But this time, I had let them sit outside for several days and wanted to clean them very well before letting the dogs play with them again. I don’t remember exactly what triggered the thought, but I wondered if her beloved Chuckit! ball (not sponsored…I wish) would make a difference.

I kid you not… the second I finished cleaning those toys and handing them to her one-by-one, it was like a switch flipped and she was her normal self. She just freaking missed her toys! I was over here about to cancel my family trip with my parents we had planned for the next week and rush her to the emergency vet which is a 30-minute drive away might I add…

Dog bringing multiple toys to play with human mom

That day I learned something new. I learned that dogs can be so attached to an object that it affects their emotions. It makes so much sense now when I’m thinking about it, but that ball meant nothing to me. It was a ball that she would bring me to throw for her. To her…that ball is her whole world. Her source of entertainment and enrichment.

I also learned that day that given the chance, she would probably sell me for a Chuckit! ball…

Dog enjoying lake day fetching a water toy

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